Over the last few years, cryptocurrency and NFTs have exploded onto the scene. Gaining interest and consideration from the public and businesses of every size, even the biggest brands want a piece of the NFT pie. And you can’t blame them because there’s serious money to be made by those who develop an understanding of the NFT space and how to navigate it effectively.
We can’t ignore the crash of crypto and NFTs in recent times, though. With the overall prices of cryptocurrencies being down by nearly 24%, some of the best NFT projects have also seen a rapid decline in their floor prices in the last 24 hours. The market seems to continually fluctuate, so NFTs being a stable investment isn’t on the books. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth investing in overall.
A glance online will tell you who the front-running locations are when it comes to interest and investment in NFTs. With countries in Asia, Africa, and South America leading the charge for owning NFTs, future purchase intent, and widespread adoption. But what about here in the UK? In this post, take a look at NFT interest and adoption in the UK.
Are NFTs a popular investment in the UK?
Honestly, it’s tough to say whether NFTs are currently a popular investment in the UK. At least compared to places such as Asia and America. A survey last year revealed that around 3% of Brits intend to buy NFTs, and more than 70% of the public hadn’t even heard of NFTs. Of course, this will have ramped up a lot over 2022 as the NFT space has grown and begun to reach much broader audiences. But we’ll likely have to wait for annual statistics to understand the scale of NFT growth in the UK.
Surveys have also shown that around 23% of millennials plan to purchase NFTs. If this does happen, global NFT adoption will increase, naturally increasing UK NFT purchases. However, we’re here to talk business! Millennials are currently the largest group of consumers, and almost a quarter of that market has shown interest in NFTs. This hasn’t gone unnoticed, with UK companies such as Boo Hoo and Selfridges creating their digital artwork and assets.
What About the Fluctuation of NFTs?
With the entire crypto market being doused with volatility right now, it seems that the NFTs are taking a massive hit amid all this. With prices of Ethereum crashing below $1400, several cryptocurrencies linked with ETH are also suffering. Their prices have halved due to turbulent market conditions, according to Planet Crypto.
However, 2022 will notably see a steady NFT market recovery with a growth rate of nearly 239%.
What are the benefits of investing in NFTs?
Jump on the bandwagon (not a bad thing!)
One of the most simple and also common reasons more businesses are jumping aboard the NFT hype train is… well because other people are doing it. If other businesses were buying NFTs and finding little to no success, no one else would bother. But the fact that lots of businesses and individuals are buying and successfully trading/selling NFTs is proof enough for other companies. We have no idea how long the NFT space will be around, but if it does remain, it’s always better to have invested early and established yourself in the space.
Put simply, NFTs are super popular right now, with a broad audience that travels throughout the crypto space and other markets. This means that businesses planning to invest in NFTs have confidence knowing it’s a market that already has interest and great profit potential. The biggest challenge is marketing to current customers with minimal knowledge or interest in NFTs.
Grow an online community
Many businesses and individuals have used NFTs as an effective means of establishing and growing a community of loyal customers. A great example is businesses that include additional content with NFT purchases, such as logins to exclusive Discord channels or free giveaways. Regardless of the style of content, exclusivity appeals to the masses, and an ever-growing community is a fantastic way to increase brand exposure and broaden an audience.
Access to digital releases and services
For online businesses, one of the most significant benefits of NFTs (aside from making money, of course) is the ability to link digital assets to online services. For example, a clothing retailer could release NFTs that customers click on to access exclusive raffles and giveaways. Additionally, some creators release exclusive NFTs that first require buyers to be part of their community, which is achieved by buying a regular NFT from them.
Businesses offering online courses could make good use of NFTs, by selling them with access to a specific course or exclusive sections. In addition to offering more fun and modern subscription model, they also install a sense of community and customer loyalty.
What UK businesses are selling NFTs?
There is a multitude of UK businesses investing in NFTs, some public and others undoubtedly doing so more quietly. Below, we’ve highlighted a few high-profile NFT projects within industries such as art, fashion, and music.
Earlier this year, big-time fashion retailer Boohoo announced its first NFT collection. This was phase one of their move into the NFT space, launching their NFT education and community platform ‘Boohooverse’, using Twitter and Discord to onboard the female fashion audience into Web3.
Their second stage was a competition for NFT artists, pitching it as the biggest female-led NFT collection to date. One of the most significant appeals of the stage one launch was that Boohoo provided its buyers with the opportunity to own their first NFT for free. Claiming the NFT gave you the digital artwork but also early access to Boohoo’s stage two, as well as discounts and other offers.
Selfridge’s, the UK-based chain of luxury retail stores, is taking a more unique approach to the NFT space. Rather than simply selling digital artwork, they opted to create an entire virtual department store in Decentraland, the web browser metaverse platform. A project that combined the work of more than 70 brands, designers, and artists to create a brand-new experience “at the intersection of fashion and technology.”
Selfridge’s has created the first meta department store in Web3’s history, which anyone can visit. Whether you want to roam the stores as a guest or attach your crypto wallet to buy NFTs (digital art or assets), the virtual world is your oyster. For the first time, people can view and buy exclusive NFTs from Paco Rabanne and other designers, all under one roof.
This NFT isn’t by a brand but by an artist — British artist Damien Hirst, so not your average Joe. Earlier this year, he launched “The Empresses”, a campaign for physical NFTs and his second NFT project. A term that may confuse many, as NFTs are digital works, not physical. Now, this is where it gets incredibly unique and fun. Owners of the physical NFT have three years to decide the future of their NFT, of which there are three options:
- Redeem the physical print and burn the NFT
- Keep the NFT, and the physical artwork is destroyed.
- Trade the NFT and let the new owner decide what to do with it.
His first project, “The Currency“, consisted of 10,000 physical NFTs that also gave holders the choice to keep them or redeem them for the physical artwork. Most definitely an unconventional approach with some risks, but the project sold out in minutes. And following the launch, there were thousands of sales on secondary NFT marketplaces. Time will tell us how many holders opted for each option above, but this is undoubtedly one of the more intriguing projects. Because holders essentially have to gamble on the NFT or physical artwork being more valuable, with no second chances.
The music industry is a rare beast, as it’s continually been able to evolve, remain relevant, and stay in touch with modern technology. And the NFT space is no different, with NFTs revealing themselves to be a viable next big step for bands and artists. British band Muse’s album — Will of the People — sold more than 51.5K copies in its first week, with 1000 NFTs of their album also hitting the market. This not only increases value amongst fans but offers incredible exclusivity when you look at total album sales.
But what does it mean to have music NFT? Firstly, it means that holders gain a unique audio file and a certificate of ownership. So you aren’t just buying your favorite artist’s album, you own it. For fans, this is an incredible opportunity to support artists and join an exclusive community.
Another band who dived into the NFT space is Kings of Leon, using three unique NFTs to promote their last album. Each NFT was represented through different artwork but offered holders three unique opportunities. The first was access to limited edition vinyl, the second was front-row access to future shows, and the third offered exclusive collectibles. Genius when you think about it because there’s a genuine appeal for fans to buy all three NFTs rather than choosing one option.